Movie Review: The Details – by Matt Glass

The Details begins with Tobey Maguire’s character Jeff recalling a seemingly random set of moments, trying to find the instance where everything started to go wrong. Jeff is a young married doctor who drives a Prius with an Obama sticker on the bumper. He lives in a nice neighborhood and has a nice family. All he wants to do is expand his house and sod his lawn. As the lies and deceit pile up, Jeff must deal with his basketball-playing, kidney-failing friend, his crazy cat-lady neighbor and raccoons, raccoons, raccoons.

Jeff sneaks out of his room in the middle of the night,careful not to wake his wife. He sits down at his computer and searches for porn and emails women. Later, he meets up with old classmate and longtime friend Rebecca (Kerry Washington) at a bar. They speaks at length about his digital flirtations and his craving for an affair. There’s no guilt, no embarrassment as he discusses it. He’s not the simple character he initially appeared to be, and this is only the beginning.

“You can know someone for so long but never really know them,” Jeff says to his wife (Elizabeth Banks) early in the film.

This is a recurring theme. It’s all about the dualistic nature of each character and how a single act can instantly change a relationship. No one is exactly who they seem.

The film wanders blindly between genres. There are moments of slapstick comedy and lengthy scenes of intense drama. These sorts of mood changes aren’t always a bad thing. All the actors involved are more than capable of switching emotions at the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, like the characters within it, the film seems afraid to stand its ground, and its quick mood swings often feel awkward.

The soundtrack to the film seemed completely out of place. Composer team tomandandy have made effective and tense scores in the past with movies like The Mothman Prophecies and Estes’ previous film Mean Creek, but in this film, the music seems inappropriate. The soundtrack wouldn’t be out of place on Tales From The Crypt or even a quirky episode of Pushing Daisies. It’s over-the-top and light hearted nature doesn’t meld well with the action on the screen. Music should complement a film’s tone and not dictate it

The music isn’t the only thing that is out of place in the film. Some other creative choices seem a bit odd including several dream sequences and memory cutaways that are never more than one-shot cutaways. They are jarring and seem almost like an afterthought.

All this is not to say the film is without merit. It’s not a bad film. It’s just a bit unstable. There are many well-executed and well-acted scenes. One scene between Maguire and Ray Liotta on a bridge stands out in particular. The casting of Liotta was perfect and his typecasting plays well into the movie’s theme. All of the actors bring their A game and the pacing never falters.

I give The Details 3 “grand pianos” out of 5.

by Matt Glass

About Lost in Reviews

Named after the 2003 film Lost in Translation, Lost in Reviews set out to embody the philosophy of this film in a website. Discouraged with the lack of passion in modern day criticism, founders Angela Davis and Ryan Davis created the entertainment review site in 2009. The idea being that, this would be the go-to place for people to find that something that was missing in their life through film or music.

Lost in Reviews is based in Kansas City, Dallas and Chicago. The site covers all aspects of entertainment, but tries to focus more on the easily over-looked. Lost in Reviews is the home to the starving filmmaker and indie bands everywhere. If you’re looking for a voice or trying to share in a vision, then Lost in Reviews just may be the place to help you get there. As the tag line for Lost in Translation says: “Everyone wants to be found.” So find yourself Lost in Reviews.

Follow Lost in Reviews Here: